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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  April 4, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. turning point? >> what they call de-escalation i call repositioning. >> russian forces pull back from kyiv. focus their firing on ukraine's east. putin lashing out at his top advisers. >> he seems to be self-isolating.
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there's some indication he has fired or put under house arrest some of his advisers. pain at the pump. >> as russian oils comes off the global market, supply of oil drops and prices are rising. >> with gas prices soaring president biden taps an emergency reserve. >> 1 million barrels is a drop >> a f j nuy 6th usce department steps up criminals probes of trump and hunter biden. >> we follows the facts and the law wherever they lead. white house chief of staff ron klain, senator roy blunt and our powerhouse round table. >> announcer: it's "this week." here now george stephanopoulos. good morning and welcome to "this week." five weeks into putin's invasion of ukraine is russia losing the
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war? russian forces appear to be retreating from kyiv in the face of stiff resistance. president zelenskyy warned they're leaving behind a catastrophic situation. he's bracing for more bloody fighting as the focus moves to the east. russian forces firing missiles on the port city of odesa. terry moran joins us now. terry, we know russian forces are pulling back from kyiv, but we don't know what it means. >> reporter: we don't know what the withdraw means. one thing is clear, the war that russia started 39 days ago has changed. seizing kyiv was a primary russian war end. they're trying to deny that now. the evidence says otherwise. they committed huge forces to it and took huge losses, especially in equipment, armor in trying to fight for it. now they're withdrawing. u.s. and ukrainian officials say this looks more like a redeployment with russian units seen redeploying to the east of
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the country where a major battle looms in the coming weeks. while the russian forces have withdrawn, they've exposed hellish scenes and possible war crimes. there are bodies in the streets. reports of a mass grave and signs of looting as well. the ukrainians are extremely concerned about the extent of this in the other occupied areas as well. then today, as you mention, a major attack in odesa, in the south. a missile attack that hit an oil refinery and three fuel depots sending black smoke over the city and a sign that no matter what happens in the north, ukrainians aren't celebrating. this war is a long way from over. >> what do we know about the atrocities in the wake of the retreat? >> reporter: there's no question as humans rights watch and the ukrainian officials say there's significant evidence of possible war crimes. the mayor of bucha says there's
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a mass grave there with 300 bodies in it. that needs to be confirmed, but there were also bodies evident on the streets. people with their hands tied behind their back, other evidence of war crimes and extensive looting as well. there were armored trucks that had dish washers and washing machines packed in them. perhaps heading back to russia. looks like the army was not only beaten in the field, but undisciplined. this may have been part of the war plan. there were leaders of some of the communities north of kiev, looks like they were executed. we have seen russia targeting leaders, mayors in other communities as well in an attempt to destroy the elite here as they hope to take over the country and dominant it. the ukrainian armed forces are stymying that right now. looks like this is a sign of something systemic. >> just brutal. terry moran, thanks so much. the american public have generally approved of president
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biden's handling of the war, but soaring gas prices and inflation have created major problems for the president and his party as they head into the midterms. we'll ask white house chief of staff ron klain about that after this report from jon karl. >> this is a moment of consequence and peril of the world and pain at the pump for american families. >> reporter: for president biden the outlook is grim. war abroad, anxiety at home and inflation at its highest level in 40 years. biden's message to americans struggling with rising prices for food, gas and everything else, he feels it too. he understands your pain. >> i grew up in a family like many of you where a rise in gasoline was discussion at the table. >> reporter: those words echo the last democratic president who faced high inflation, jimmy carter. >> i promise to you a president who is not isolated from the
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people, who feels your pain and who shares your dreams. >> reporter: now it's biden feeling the malaise. his own crisis of confidence, tapping into the strategic petroleum reserve might help, but won't make much of a difference. he's pointing the finger at vladimir putin for high gas prices. >> our prices are rising because of putin's actions. there isn't enough supply. the bottom line is if we want lower gas prices we need more oil supply right now. >> reporter: biden called it a putin price hike. most americans aren't buying it. gas prices were on the rise before russia invaded ukraine. the national average is now $4.22 a gallon, up 60 cents since the war began, but up $1.34 from the year ago. presidents usually see a bump in approval ratings during a time of crisis. biden is now at new lows. his overall approval rating at 36% in a new quinnipiac poll.
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one in three approve of how he's handling the economy. there is good news. the economy added 431,000 jobs in march and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%. >> even though we created a record number of jobs, i know this job is not finished. we need to do more to get prices under control. >> reporter: biden got other significant good news this week. he has the votes to confirm ketanji brown jackson to the supreme court and it will be a bipartisan vote, but by this narrowest of margins. other than susan collins no other republican said they'll vote yes. voter anxiety is about more than rising prices or russia's war on ukraine. violent crime in american cities remains high. there's a growing problem at the border. a record 1.7 million
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undocumented immigrants apprehended last year. the numbers this year are higher. this week the cdc announced that the trump era rule of expelling undocumented immigrants because of covid concerns will end in may. a decision criticized by arizona's two democratic senators, both predicting a huge influx of undocumented immigrants as a result. all that voter anxiety adds up to democratic anxiety and fears of a brutal environment for the president's party going into the midterm elections this fall. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. >> thanks, jon. let's bring in white house chief of staff ron klain. ron, thank you for joining us. let's pick up where jon left off. how anxious are you? >> george, i think we've done a great job in progress on creating jobs as jon mentioned. the unemployment rate down to 3.6%. only three months in 50 years where unemployment has been this low. record job creation. we're bringing the deficit down. we saw the highest economic growth in american history since 40 years ago. we have work to do. that's what the president has
Check
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been talking about, a new budget to bring the deficit down and improve education and health care which he introduced monday. steps to bring down the price of gas. we'll bringing down the price of oil. we'll see it at the pumps in the weeks ahead. steps to bring down the price of every day goods like prescription drugs. we made progress on that in the house this week. steps to bring down other costs people are facing -- child care, elder care, the every day costs that people face. we've done a lot of work to bring the economy back from dead in the water when we got here, no jobs being created, businesses closed, schools closed. tremendous amount of progress on getting the economy going again in 14 months. a lot of work left to be done. coming up.to ask more about that let's go to ukraine. what do you make of the russian retreat from kyiv? is russia losing this war? >> i think russia -- i think the ukrainians are winning the war around kyiv and in the northern part of the country. that's tremendous credit to the
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fighting they've done and to the support that the united states d an we send weapons into ukraine almost every day. the ukrainian military, they're fighting this war. they've shown their bravery and tenacity backed up by the united states and our allies. we have to be clear. there's a lot of evidence that putin is taking his troops out of the northern part of the country to redeploy them to the eastern part of the country. there have been victories for the ukrainians so far, but this war sadly is far from over. >> a lot of people look at this redeployment and say the end game is a frozen conflict, much like we saw in korea, division. russia gets the east. ukraine maintains control of the rest. is that acceptable to the united states? >> george, that's not for -- the outcome is for ukraine to decide.
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what i will tell you is president zelenskyy said it's not acceptable to him. we'll support him with military aid, with economic aid, with humanitarian aid. the political future of ukraine is up for ukraine to decide. the military future of this attack has to be pushed back. that's why we're doing so much to back president zelenskyy and his military with the tools they need, with the weapons they need, with the other aid they need to oust the russian invasion from their country. >> let's go back to the economy. in the wake of that jobs report on friday, your former colleague in the obama administration, the economist from the university of chicago, said we may be moving to the idea that the covid era of the u.s. economy is done. do you agree with that? >> i cautiously agree with that. thanks to the success president biden had in vaccinating over 225 million americans,
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boosting over 100 million americans, america is back to work. the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the past 50 years. we have fewer people requiring unemployment assistance today than any time since 1970. we've solved the jobs crisis. we got america back to work. america has protection from the existing forms of covid. we have to be always vigilant and on guard, george, for this virus mutating again. we have to be prepared to deal with that. right now as we stand here today our schools are open. businesses are open. people are coming back to work. people are coming back into the labor force. we had a big jump in labor force participation in march. there are a lot of encouraging signs in terms of the economy coming back to being a robust jobs and business-creating economy. >> inflation comes with that. that appears to be on people's minds right now. you saw that poll about the president's approval on the economy. gas prices are climbing higher and higher. we also are seeing that republicans are poised to exploit that in the mid terms.
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here's a montage of ads. >> biden's raging inflation. we're paying the high price. politicians are completely to blame. >> mark kelly, he rubber stamped joe biden's agenda, shutting down pipelines. spiking gas prices. causing rampant inflation. >> washington got covid wrong. they got the economy wrong too. biden's reckless spending caused inflation. >> how should democrats respond? >> let's respond with facts. the deficit rose every year donald trump was president. his last year he had the highest deficit in american history. we brought down the deficit each year joe biden's been in office. a trillion dollar cut in the deficit this year, the largest cut of any president in the history of this country. we'll cut trump's deficit in half in biden's first three years. let's start with the facts about spending and nonsense like that. gas prices are a problem absolutely. that's why the president took the actions he took this week to
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release 1 million barrels a day from the reserve, to tell the companies they need to pump oil on the 9,000 permits they have or give them back, to increase production here. those are things that will bring down the price of gasoline, relieve some of the pain at the pump. we have an agenda to cut taxes for people, to bring down the cost of every day things. the republicans have an agenda. senator scott says their agenda is to raise taxes on millions of americans, get rid of social security and do other things that will devastate middle class people. when people compare our agenda to the republican agenda, that's a clear choice for folks. >> the border is also a big issue. we saw the cdc decision to lift title 42 which allowed the government to expel migrants during the pandemic. getting a lot of pushback. senator joe manchin called it frightening. kyrsten sinema, another democrat, says it poses a threat
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to arizona. mitt romney said it will elect republicans in november. how worried are you about a surge at the border? is there anything the president can do about it? >> title 42 is a public health law that said you can exclude people who pose a public health risk. the cdc decides how to apply that. they decided in may we'll be at a place where we can't exclude people because of a public health rationale. we need to do more work at the border. the president sent an immigration plan to congress on his first day in office. we asked for more resources. we put in place a new rule that will take effect next month to enable us to process asylum claims more clearly. we have to be honest about what's happening at the border. we have people showing up with asylum claims from places like
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cuba, nicaragua, venezuela, brazil. people fleeing regimes, coming here to make asylum claims. the goal should be to make sure those asylum claims are heard in a prompt way, those who deserve protection from prosecution. those who don't are sent back. >> how did democrats get on the wrong side of the crime issue, especially in the wake overnight another killing in sacramento, at least six dead in a mass shooting? >> george, i don't think democrats are on the wrong side of the crime issue. the president sent to congress plans for robust funding of police. congress passed one of them two weeks ago in the omnibus bill and raised our funding for police. we want to make sure we have strong law enforcement to respond to crime. we also want to make sure we have in place police reform and community violence intervention to help reduce crime. we have a plan to fight crime. congress is making progress. i met with the mayor of new york, eric adams. he's been a leader in this effort to control crime in new york. we're working very hard to be at
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the forefront of efforts to control crime and have balanced and sensible policing. we think we can do both. that's what we stand for. that's the plans we put forward to the congress. >> let me ask you about the january 6th investigation and the possible prosecution of former president trump. "the new york times" is reporting that mr. biden confided in his inner circle that he believed former president trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted. he has said privately he wanted mr. garland to act less like a judge and more like a prosecutor. is that true? >> i've never heard the president say that -- advocate the prosecution of any person. one reason why joe biden got elected was he promised he would take the decision over who got prosecuted away from the white house and put it in the justice department. only richard nixon and donald trump in the modern era believed
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that those decisions should be made in the oval office. we returned the practice that every other president has had since watergate. the president has confidence in the attorney general to make those decisions. that's where those decisions should be made. >> we know the justice department is intensifying its investigation into hunter biden, the president's son. i assume the psident has had no contact with the justice department about that? >> neither the president or any of us at the white house has had contact with the justice department about that. >> is the president confident hunter biden didn't break the law? >> of course he's confident he didn't break the law. most importantly, as i said, that's a matter that's going to be decided by the justice department, by the legal process. it's something no one at the white house has any involvement in that. >> the "washington post" reported on deals that hunter biden had with the chinese energy company. is the president confident his family didn't cross any ethical
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lines? >> george, the president is confident his family did the right thing. again, i want to be clear. these are actions by hunter and his brother. they're private matters. they don't involve the president. they certainly are something that no one at the white house is involved in. >> in the wake of text messages we saw last week from ginni thomas, the wife of supreme court justice clarence thomas, many are calling for an ethics code for supreme court justices. including senator chris murphy democrat of connecticut. if that passes the congress, will the president sign that into law? >> i'm not familiar with the specific legislation you're talking about. you have the january 6th committee doing its job. we should let that committee do its work. our position has been the investigation of what happened on january 6th, this insurrection, this effort to turn back democracy, this effort to reverse the outcome of a democratic election, should be explored by the january 6th
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committee, by the justice department, not by us at the white house. >> should clarence thomas recuse himself on any issues that deal with january 6th? >> that's not for me to say. i noi know a lot of peole have said that. i don't think this is a place for us at the white house to be involved with the rulings of the supreme court. that's for others to decide. >> finally, i know you're confident that judge ketanji brown jackson is going to be confirmed as a supreme court justice. do you expect anymore republican votes? >> i think she deserves more republican votes. that's for sure, george. she's one of the most qualified nominees in modern history. she'll be only the second person to serve on the supreme court who was a trial court and appellate court judge before she came to the supreme court. she has an outstanding academic record. she acquitted herself before the committee admirably in the face of some ridiculous and debasing questions from some members of the committee. i hope that everyone looks at her record of accomplishment,
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looks at her performance before the committee and does the right thing which is vote to confirm judge jackson to the supreme court. she deserves those votes. she'll get enough votes to get confirmed. i wish more republicans would look at the record here and vote to confirm judge jackson. >> ron klain, we covered a lot of ground. thanks for your time. >> thanks for having me, george. round table is coming up. then republican senator roy blunt joins us next. stay with us.enator roy blunt joins us next. stay with us. she's smiling because her small culinary supply store, titans pans, is up and running. and this, is nfl star derrick henry, accidentally tagging “titans pans,” instead of his loyal fans. which, very unexpectedly, has her business trending. and trending. and trending. and oh my. das internet auf dem telefon. and there goes the internet. good thing maya uses fedex to help prepare for unexpected demand. because you never know what's next.
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justice clarence thomas is a great american. i have total confidence in his
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impartiality in every aspect of the work of the court. >> if your wife is an admitted and proud contributor to a coup of our country, maybe you should weigh that. >> let's talk to republican senator roy blunt of missouri. thanks for joining us. let's start with the issues where i finished with ron klain, starting with judge ketanji brown jackson. have you made up your mind yet? >> well, i have, george. good to be with you this morning. i thought initially my sense is that the president certainly had every good intention and every right in the campaign to talk about putting the first black woman on the court. i think it's time for that to happen. i was hoping that i could be part of that. i had a great conversation with her. really there are two criterias.
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one is is the person qualified and two, what is their judicial philosophy? she's certainly qualified. great personality. will be a good colleague on the court. the judicial philosophy seems to be not the philosophy of looking at what the law says and the constitution says and applying that, but going through some method that allows you to try to look at the constitution as a more flexible document and even the law. there are case that s that show her view. she's certainly going to be confirmed. it will be a high point for the country. i don't think she's the kind of judge that will do the work that i think needs to be done by the court. i won't be supporting her. i'll be joining others in understanding the importance of this moment. >> if it's a high point for the country, why not support her?
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>> well, i think the lifetime appointments have a different criteria. i've supported a significant number of president biden's nominees to offices that will end -- their time will end while he's still in office. that's a different criteria than putting somebody on the court for life. i don't think i've supported any district judges he's appointed up to now. she doesn't meet the criteria that over and over i've said that in the last decade -- the advise and consent part of the constitution gives the senate more responsibility than just saying she's qualified. that's not been the role of the senate for a couple decades now. it certainly wasn't the role that democrats saw as their role in the last congress when three
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qualified judges had the same kind of view that i think we have now, that you need to agree with whether you think that judge will be a judge that thinks it's their job to rule on the law and the constitution should say or is it their job to rule on what the constitution does say? >> how about these calls for justice thomas to recuse himself from the january 6th investigation cases given the active involvement of his wife ginni thomas and the push for an ethics code for supreme court justices? >> well, the idea that you can't disagree with your wife on a public issue and be able to function as a judge or as a government figure of any kind, i think it's an idea that has long outlived that it might be reasonable. >> do you know that he disagrees with her?
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>> judge thomas has to decide that. in his personal opinions and his writings over the years aren't part of his judicial philosophy. he'll look at the law. he'll look at what the law says and the constitution says and rule in that regard. i'm supportive of the justice department to find out who did what on january 6th, if they were part of any illegal activity. they should be prosecuted and have been very supportive of that. senator klobuchar and i did an early investigation. we made a number of changes about how to secure the capitol. it was totally unacceptable what happened on january 6th. i think the justice department is pursuing that exactly as they should. >> including the possible
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prosecution of president trump? we saw the federal judge say it's likely the president broke the law. >> federal judges say a lot of things. we'll see how that comes through the process. what i said is what i believe. i think the justice department has a job to do. they should do it. people who were involved in planning or execution of illegal activities on january 6th should be prosecuted. > you heard ron klain taking on critics of the president's budget, like you, who said it's reckless spending pointing out the deficit has come down from the high level of the deficit under president trump. >> well, i think the most reckless thing the president did in spending was the march decision on a totally partisan way for the first time in anything dealing with covid, to try to come back and put $2 trillion into an economy that was already well on the way to recovery. larry summers said that was a
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problem. others said not only is that a part, but further spending on new programs is a problem. the biggest problem in the country today is clearly inflation. people are seeing gas prices at astronomical levels, by the way, they were at astronomical levels before anything putin did. they went up the day after he was elected as people saw what was going to happen with his energy policies. all you have to do is go to the gas station or grocery store or pay your winter heating bill to know that something unacceptable has happened. i think that's the excessive level of spending that democrats all on their own put $1.9 trillion into the economy in march and it will take us a long time to recover from that and even longer to pay it back. >> do you believe that russia is
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losing this war in ukraine and what more can the united states be doing now to support the ukrainian resistance? >> we should be doing everything we can. we should give them what they need as quickly as they needed. generally what the president has done has been the right thing, but two or three weeks slower than it should have been. i've been saying that since the sanctions discussion before the invasion. what would be interesting is to know whether putin was more surprised by the incredible resistance of the ukrainians, the rallying around of nato, particularly the german change in attitude or how poorly his own military has performed. i'm sure he's surprised by all three of those. our intelligence did a great job knowing what the russians were doing, the false flag operations, all those things incredibly helpful.
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i don't think anybody could have anticipated those three big events or those three big items or the leadership of president zelenskyy. i hope he continues to be safe and brave and his country is rallying behind that willingness to be there and be in the fight. >> senator blunt, thanks for your time this morning. round table is coming up, plus nate silver's take on the georgia governor's rate where president trump is trying to take out the republican incumbent. so you partner with ibm to build a security architecture to keep your data, network, and applications protected. now you can tackle threats so they don't bring you to a grinding halt. and everyone's going places, including you. let's create cybersecurity that keeps your business on track. ibm. let's create
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trump's sway in the 2022 midterms. nate silver has a closer look. >> trust the polls unless you have a good reason not to. those polls show governor kemp with a lead against david per perdue. the primary is not until may 24th. i don't see any reason to go against the polls. the other indicators look solid for kemp too. one is a strong track record. 87% of elected governors win renomination. david perdue may not be that strong a candidate. he's only been elected once for the u.s. senate in 2014 and that was by a single-digit margin at a time when georgia was a lot
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redder. as of january perdue only had $1.1 million cash on hand. he endorses trump's claims about election fraud. a trump-led rally in georgia last week drew only about 5,000 attendees. i wouldn't write perdue off entirely, but i buy kemp is the favorite. we'll be right back with the round table. oftness, it's hard for your family to remember that they can use less. sweet pillows of softness! this is soft! holy charmin! oh! excuse me! roll it back, everybody!! [all at once] sorry. new charmin ultra soft is now even softer so you'll want more! but it's so absorbent, you can use less. so it's always worth it. now, what did we learn about using less? you've got to, roll it back everybody! we all go, why not enjoy the go with charmin.
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no oversight. >> attorney general garland do your job so we can do ours. >> the only pressure i feel and the only pressure that our line of prosecutors feel is to do the right thing. that means we follow the facts and the law wherever they may lead. now.errick garland with the asn he's theds queio about cases involving donald trump, hunter biden and charges contempt for the trump administration. let's bring in our round table. chris christie, donna brazile, astead herndon and ruth marcus. >> you don't want to be merrick garland right now if you're not ready to make hard decisions. this week i think ramped up the pressure on him. he says he doesn't feel it.
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i take him at his word. i would if i were him. the decision by a federal judge in california that said the former president more likely than not committed a crime, the revelation of this long gap in the phone records and the revelation of something that merrick garland knew, but we didn't, is they're looking beyond the immediate perpetrators of insurrection which is good news, to those who planned the rally and may have planned the insurrection. of all those, i think the most important and most significant may be this gap because if that gap turns out to be the result of steps that the president knowingly took, president trump, knowingly took to avoid creating a record, that's evidence of intent. >> we don't know that yet. >> i said if. >> i was struck byr ron klain's
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nondenial denial that president biden believes the former president should be prosecute. >> that reporting is important. it says president biden has been looking to advisers and not saying he wishes the attorney general would act more aggressively. this is the feeling of a lot of democrats right now. that political pressure is ramping up on the attorney general to act. we know the republicans are insulating him. senator mitch mcconnell said he thinks that type of talk is inappropriate. we have a convergence of issues here. democrats ramping up the political pressure to see action on this front, on this and the text messagi text messages that came out from the supreme court justice clarence thomas' wife. you have republicans digging in their heels and provide a defense on that front.
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>> chris christie, the case against president trump could be tough. you have to go to state of mind. all he needs is one lawyer telling him this is legal. >> look, the problem with what the judge said is a couple fold. it may have been completely accurate. the standard is a civil standard, which is a preponderance of the evidence. the standard for criminal is beyond a reasonable doubt. that's about as big a gap as you can find. add to it that if you're merrick garland you're saying i'm not going to prosecute the former president of the united states unless it's a head shot. you're not going to do that. you know, i don't think -- i disagree. i don't think it's a particularly tough job at the moment. merrick garland has done this stuff in his life. if he does it the right way, if he resists political pressure from democrats, the same way that bill barr resisted
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political pressure, he'll be fine. make the decisions. make the calls. if you can't do that, you shouldn't have taken the job. >> also a big decision about hunter biden. >> absolutely. we'll see what happens in delaware. that case is originating there. based on what i read in the "washington post" and some of the other examination with hunter's laptop, there's a lot of information we're learning, new information, in fact, about what may have occurred because he left his laptop at a repair shop and now they have the hard drive. look, i want to say something about the january 6th exit tcom, what the judge did in california and all the other legal challenges that the former president faces, this is a cloud. it's a drip, drip, drip. at some point it's going to flood the conversation. the former president is facing so many legal hurdles. the january 6th committee is
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drilling down on what happened that morning, not only who organized it, but what was happening in the morning hours all the way to the afternoon. at some point we'll find more and more documents, the documents that will be released as a result of what judge carter just ordered that will show the former president believed he had legal grounds to overturn the election. there's so much more we'll learn. >> ruth marcus, the "washington post" reported this week more on hunter biden's dealings with china, many on the right have said it's too little too late for the "washington post" to come forward now after dismissing these claims all through the election. >> this is the point where i'm supposed to say i represent the opinion side of the "washington post" and not the news room. there are a lot of -- i think all news organizations, not just the "washington post," faced a
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very big dilemma as they tried to figure out how to deal with the reporting on that laptop. we knew there had been efforts of russian disinformation. you don't want to jump at that and report something that's wrong. on the other hand you don't want to put a finger on the scale. i n't, as a journalist, am for one side or the other. i won't second guess the decisions made. there's a lot of interesting reporting to be done. i'm glad we are looking at this now. hunter biden is not the first political relative to take advantage and make money off of his father's access and power, but it's not a very attractive story. >> are there implications for "the new york times"? >> i don't think so. there's no fear about reporting facts and following where those go. i defer to my colleagues in washington who have been doing that work. i ha i know there's full support in the news room to follow the
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facts wherever they go. on the politics side, this hasn't dripped into the public consciousness yet. it's an effort for republicans to drive that narrative, to try to make the electorate more motivated. >> merrick garland has to resist the pressure from republicans on this issue. >> that's your job when you're attorney general. the idea when making the hunter biden decision in the midst of a campaign, we have to be careful about russian disinformation, but all through 2016 and 2017 we know it was the hillary clinton campaign paying for that dossier and that was the -- >> there was a separate fbi investigation based on completely different evidence. >> operation cross fire hurricane was all about the potential infiltration of the trump campaign by the russians. the basis of that was the
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dossier. >> and most news organizations didn't publish the dossier. >> they did aggressively pursue that and call it as if it was fact. with the hunter biden case, twitter took "the new york post" twitter account down because they reported on the hunter biden laptop which now turns out to be true. >> chris, nobody reported on -- >> the new york post had it right and the "washington post" and "the new york times" had it wrong. everyone will decide what the motivation for that was, whether it was simple error, not sufficient reporting, bias, everyone will have their opinions. the new york post had it right during the campaign and the other media outlets had it wrong. >> is the "washington post" supposed to report on a hard drive they didn't have at the time that was given to rudy
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giuliani? >> they reported on a lot of stuff regarding russian infiltration about the trump campaign that turned out to be dead wrong. >> they failed to report on the russian infiltration of the democratic national committee and the damage that was done as a result of mr. putin trying to basically interfere in our elections. george, i understand the hunter biden situation -- we know hunter is selling art work valued at a lot of money. i don't know what's right and what's wrong. hunter is not going to be a conversation piece this midterms. hunter is going to be a conversation piece for those of us who like salacious gossip. what's going to be a conversation piece is the economy, how the american people are feeling about their lives and what's in their pocket books and also the outcome of the war
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in ukraine that will not just impact us at the gas pump, but pretty soon at the grocery store when we go to buy bread and wheat and barley. >> it does look like it's going to go on for sometime, chris christie. there's all this evidence out there that russia is retreating in the face of such strong resistance, that this was a war they thought they could win easily and it's not happening. >> those people who called putin a genius look like they have egg all over their face. he's made obviously significant strategic mistakes. worse yet, when confronted with those strategic mistakes, it seems from reporting they committed war crimes on top of that. as they're retreating from kyiv, we're seeing what they did while they were there. there's going to be a lot that goes on here. the problem is the same as we talked about a couple weeks ago.
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when confronted with this now, is he going to amp up or going to try to get this to a peace position where they try to make a negotiated settlement? i don't know which one it's going to be. the guy who is watching it the closest besides president zelenskyy is president xi in china. if they ramp this up, xi is going to be held responsible for supporting putin. >> if you approach an end game where russia consolidates control in the east in the wake of war crimes, can president biden lift the sanctions in the face of all that evidence? >> i think this is a not good situation for president biden because if things go badly he gets blamed. if things go well, he is not going to probably get credit because people are going to be looking at inflation and all sorts of other things. what ron klain said was
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interesting, that it's going to be up to the ukrainians to decide what limits to accept. this is a -- no matter what we do and no matter what ukraine decides, the risk here is rewarding putin for war crimes, rewarding putin for a war of aggression that had no basis. the alternative as chris was sutis suggesting will it push him into a position to escalate? >> she hits on the key line for president biden which is there's no upside politically. i hate to talk about it in such callus terms, but the president will be blamed for that situation if it goes poorly. we're not seeing that bump even though people approve of how he handled the situation in poland. the domestic issues like inflation and the economy are a higher priority for folks right
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now. the white house has a governing pr problem on its hands. >> who also gets a reward for saving lives, for making sure a country is not bombed off planet earth the way putin has gone after the people of ukraine? shooting people in the back of the head. striking hospitals and schools. at some point mr. putin needs to account for his war crimes. maybe that's where the president can show more leadership in terms of making sure we document these war crimes. it's horrific to see what's happening in ukraine each and every day carried out by a man who wants to sit at the table. i would work my you know what to boot him out of g7. >> we have to be careful how we do it. i think you're right. the president has a lot of difficult decisions to make here
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on this. to show how skilled she is across the table, the last question you had donna talked about all the different issues that will affect the midterms. she's right, but the american people are going to look at do they think the president acted in a way that's strong and projected american strength. how he handles this will determine -- >> he will succeed at that, my friend. >> i'm sure you think so. >> that's the last word. we'll be right back.
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that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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